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We are excited to introduce the selected Peace Scholars for the 2024-2025 academic school year. Through a vigorous application and interview process, Sara Sirag and Anna Hudak, have shown that they are the strongest candidates to this program, and we are proud to know they will be representing Augsburg University while in Norway.

Alongside other Peace Scholars from our Lutheran sister sites (Concordia College, Luther College, Pacific Lutheran College and St. Olaf College), these two students will participate in the annual summer Peace Scholars program in Norway, designed to deepen students’ understanding of the central issues and theories regarding conflict, war and peace, as well as attend the University of Oslo International Summer School.

We want to thank Gary Smaby (The Smaby Family Foundation) for his generous financial support.

Sara Sirag is a rising senior at Augsburg University, studying Social Work. She is a first-generation student, born in Eritrea and raised in Minnesota.

Her passion for prison reform and studying mass incarceration has pulled Sara to Norway and peace studies. She has a strong appreciation for Norway’s welfare systems and their prison systems rooted in rehabilitation and restorative justice. Her goal is to work with diverse populations while challenging and pushing herself to understand different systems.

Sara has worked with Minnesota Health Fairview, YWCA, the University of St. Thomas, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and Minnesota History Center. In addition, she hopes to continue to empower marginalized communities while promoting peace and justice. Sara was part of a college enrollment team focusing on better serving BIPOC and First-Generation students.

In her free time, Sara volunteers with Big Brother Big Sister of Twin Cities, Saint Paul Public Libraries, and Keystone Food Shelves. She believes in advocating for change and those enduring injustices across the world.

Anna Hudak is a rising senior from Prior Lake, Minnesota studying International Relations and History with a minor in Music.

As the Features Editor for The Echo student newspaper, she highlights Augsburg’s vibrant campus life, student writing, and the Cedar-Riverside community. She also creates supportive living environments for Augsburg students through her role as a Community Advisor for Residence Life.

During her time studying abroad in Greece, Anna developed a passion for peace studies and promoting intercultural dialogue, recognizing its power as a catalyst for positive change in an increasingly interconnected world.

After graduating from Augsburg, she hopes to return to Greece as an English teacher. Anna also hopes to use her affinity for writing and storytelling to illuminate underrepresented narratives and non-violent conflict resolutions as a peace journalist.